Governor Mark Gordon joined President Trump, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta and seven other governors at the White House today for a roundtable discussion that touched on a wide range of workforce-related topics.
The lunch-hour meeting with the President, members of his administration, and a bipartisan group of governors highlighted federal and state efforts to reduce barriers and expand economic mobility for America’s workers.
“I appreciate President Trump’s leadership in convening this bipartisan group of governors and listening to our perspectives,” Governor Gordon said. “We had a productive, wide-ranging discussion about a spectrum of issues important to Wyoming, including the H2A and H2B visa programs, trade and the USMCA, workforce initiatives and rural healthcare.”
In public remarks prior to the meeting, President Trump welcomed the governors to discuss occupational licensing reform, advancing childcare policies and providing quality job training to all Americans. Other attendees included Governors Doug Ducey of Arizona, Brian Kemp of Georgia, David Ige of Hawaii, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania and Bill Lee of Tennessee.
During the roundtable, Governor Gordon highlighted the Wyoming Works program, which was created through legislation passed earlier this year. The program will help expand technical and trade programs at Wyoming’s community colleges and provide grants for students enrolled in these programs. It is intended to help address immediate and anticipated demand for a skilled workforce to fill identified occupational needs in Wyoming. It also allows for private industry contributions, a concept supported by other governors in attendance. Wyoming was also recognized as one of the states with the fewest occupational licensing burdens.
As part of its economic diversification efforts, Wyoming has worked to expand vocational education opportunities in its quest to develop a nimble workforce. To further those efforts, the state recently applied for a State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant from the US Department of Labor to expand apprenticeship opportunities in Wyoming. If awarded, $641,075.32 will be used to implement both system-level and program-level activities to increase the number of registered apprenticeship programs and enroll apprentices in registered programs.
“The President’s apprenticeship grant program is an avenue for Wyoming to pursue financial support for building out our workforce,” Governor Gordon said. “My goal is to help Wyomingites gain the skills needed to improve the quality of their work, their take home pay, and ultimately to create better lives for themselves and their families.”